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How to Beat the Summer Heat (and Sweat) Under Your Mask

July 13, 2020

The good news is the masks we’re wearing in public these days hides any upper lip sweat. The bad news is that breathing moist air into the mask on a hot summer day is what’s causing the upper lip sweat in the first place!

Since public health guidelines recommend masks whenever we’re in public places and can’t maintain six feet of social distance, the answer to the perspiration problem is not leaving the masks at home. Experts believe we might be wearing them well after the summer fades, when the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic is expected.

But there’s no need to suffer and sweat more than you have to. Try these tips for staying cool in your mask:

  • Pick breathable material. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends masks made of tightly woven cotton to prevent the spread of COVID-19. It’s not exactly the best fabric for absorbing perspiration, but it does breathe better than synthetics. A mask made of bamboo fabric might be better for exercising as it is 40 percent more absorbent than cotton and can hold three times its weight in perspiration. Experts are also suggesting that masks with multiple layers of fabric serve as a better barrier to the virus than those with one thick layer of fabric between you and the outside world.
  • Color matters. As with clothing choices, the darker the color of your mask, the more it will attract the sun’s rays, making it a hotter covering on your face than lighter colors.
  • Avoid the hottest times of the day.
  • Take a break. When you start to overheat, find a shady place away from others where you can take your mask off for a few minutes and catch a breeze on your face. Try cooling your face with a wet cloth. Make sure to pull your mask back on before going back around other people again.
  • Bring a spare or two. When your mask gets sweaty, it not only feels yucky but it actually becomes a breeding ground for bacteria that grow in the moist air. Sweating in your mask can also lead to acne or dermatitis. Bring an extra mask. Keep your spares in clean plastic bags to reduce any exposure to germs before you use them.
  • Keep it clean. Wash your masks after each use, ether in the washing machine or by hand using hot water. Dry in the dryer on high.

Not feeling well? Call your healthcare provider for guidance and try to avoid going directly to an emergency department or urgent care center, as this could increase the chances of the disease spreading.

Click here to schedule a virtual visit with a Hartford HealthCare-GoHealth Urgent Care provider.

Stay with Hartford HealthCare for everything you need to know about the coronavirus threat. Click here for information updated daily.

Questions? Call our 24-hour hotline (860.972.8100 or, toll-free, 833.621.0600). 

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